May 19, 2020

Social Distancing in Early Care and Education: Feasible or Impossible?

Join the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW) on June 2 for, “Social Distancing in Early Care and Education: Feasible or Impossible?,” a one-hour discussion exploring issues around social distancing in early care and education programs.


During the webinar, participants will hear from Danette Glassy, MD, FAAP, pediatrician, about guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and discover practical strategies for implementation in a variety of early care programs. Webinar topics include:

    • CDC guidance for early care and education programs;
    • barriers to implementation within early care settings; and
    • strategies for early care and education programs to keep children and staff as safe as possible.

This event is best suited for Head Start program directors and health services staff; Head Start State Collaboration directors; child care resource and referral agencies; child care directors and health consultants; state public health departments; and nurses working with early care and education programs.


To register, visit the event page. The registration link can be used for both the live event and on-demand viewing.

A recording of the discussion will be available to watch on-demand 30 minutes after the event ends until June 15, 2020. A version with English closed captions will also be posted on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) in the coming weeks.

More Information

For questions, please contact NCECHW at 888.227.5125 or


December 19, 2019

Head Start Coaching Companion Available

If you are an early care and education professional who is interested in receiving coaching feedback and sharing videos, consider using the Head Start Coaching Companion!


By utilizing the Head Start Coaching Companion, early childhood professionals will view examples of teaching practices, record their teaching interactions, and track their progress using three major components of Practice-Based Coaching (PBC), including:

    • shared goals and action planning;
    • focused observation; and
    • reflection and feedback.

Though PBC was designed with Head Start programs in mind, it aligns with a variety of coaching models.


To utilize the Head Start Coaching Companion, professionals should have access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone with basic video editing software; a digital video camera, tablet, or smartphone with video capability; and reliable internet access. Video footage will be utilized to record teaching interactions.

See the Head Start Coaching Companion handout to learn more.

Learn More

To get started, educators can submit a Coaching Companion application and learn more online. View the Coaching Companion PDF or email for additional information.

*Information provided via Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 5


August 22, 2019

Young Children Experiencing Homelessness Summit

Congress approved provisions prioritizing children who experience homelessness to be served by Head Start, the Child Care Development Fund, and other high-quality early learning programs. On September 16, professionals are invited to the “Young Children Experiencing Homelessness Summit: Educate. Collaborate. Inspire.” to explore these changes, identify challenges, and discuss the future.


Thousands of young homeless children are in shelter or living doubled up in Pennsylvania, in New Jersey, and in Delaware. High-quality early learning programs like Head Start can strengthen their resilience, but access is a challenge. Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Deborah Bergeron, National Director of Head Start, this Summit will explore what has happened since those changes, identify local and national challenges, and consider the role of intermediaries.


To attend the Summit, complete the event registration webpage.

Learn More

To learn more, visit the event page.

For questions, contact Joe Willard at 267.777.5851 or

*Information provided by the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey


August 19, 2019

2020 Gro More Good Garden Grants Now Open

If you’re a Head Start program looking to integrate gardening into your curriculum, apply today for a Gro More Good Garden Grant!


Studies show that many children from at-risk backgrounds don’t have access to fresh produce on a daily basis. However, research also shows that children who grow fresh food eat more fresh food and are healthier as a result. That’s why the National Head Start Association and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation are joining forces to address this critical issue facing young children.

Through the Gro More Good Garden Grants initiative, both partners will work with Head Start programs across the country to teach children, families, and communities how to grow their own fresh produce. Their multi-year initiative will make garden grants, garden kits, educational curriculum, and garden training available to all Head Start programs with the goal of creating more edible gardens for young children and their families.

Grant Details

$5,000 grants, garden kits, and product donations will be awarded to the 10 highest scoring applicants. The Garden Grants are a three-year program with an opportunity to apply again in the fall of 2020 for the 2021 grant cycle.


As a part of the grant award, Head Start programs will be expected to host a Community Build Day, bringing together Head Start students and families, community partners, and Scotts Miracle-Gro associates in a day of community service to build and celebrate the garden. Community Build Days should be held during the March through June timeframe.


To apply for a Gro More Good Garden Grant, visit the application page.

Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on October 11, 2019.

Learn More

For more information, visit the National Head Start Association website or the grant FAQ page.

For direct questions, email

*Information provided by the National Head Start Association


May 9, 2019

Historic Increases for Early Learning & Development Programs

The House Appropriations Committee recently approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education spending bill for FY2020, which outlines funding for early care and learning programs critical to babies’ development. The first three years are a time in development unmatched by any other later point in life. But the recently released State of Babies Yearbook: 2019 reveals troubling early warning signs that too many young children face conditions that place their development – and our future – at risk.

About the Bill

The bill includes historic increases to key early learning and development programs that can help to reverse this path we have set for our future, including:

    • An increase of $2.4 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant;
    • $525 million increase in the set-aside for the expansion of Early Head Start, including through EHS-Child Care Partnerships;
    • Doubling of the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Grant Program, to a total of $10 million; and
    • An increase of $21.3 million for Part C Early Intervention.

By laying the foundation today for 12 million infants and toddlers living in the U.S., we are investing in our society’s future.

Learn More

To learn more, see Zero to Three’s full statement.

*Information provided by Zero to Three


December 20, 2018

OCDEL Reports Progress on Infant/Toddler Policies

In 2017, the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and stakeholders completed a policy scan with National State Capacity Building Center that identified short, medium, and long-term policy goals to support infants and toddlers in Pennsylvania.

Goal Progress

OCDEL is proud to report progress on those goals:

Short-Term Goal

The short-term goal to “adopt a shared definition of relationship-based care” across the ECE system is underway. OCDEL and Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) staff, in partnership with the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, are focusing on Relationship-Based Competencies and developing shared definitions and language across systems.

Medium-Term Goal

The medium-term goal is to “develop a triaging protocol that creates a system akin to Early Head Start that will connect families of infants and toddlers in child care with comprehensive health (including oral) and family support services in their community.” This goal is reflected in the work of the ELRCs which are charged with ensuring all families have access to needed services beyond child care, such as CHIP, WIC, and family supports, including home visiting.

Long-Term Goal

The long-term goal is to “explore vouchers and contracts that fund the true cost of serving infants and toddlers.” Through the Infant/Toddler Contracted Slot Pilot, OCDEL is piloting contracted slots for infants and toddlers in Keystone STAR 3 and 4 programs. The pilot seeks to understand how contracted slots can support continuity of care for infants, toddlers, and their families and the financial impact on high-quality providers interested in seeking financial stability for the classrooms serving their youngest learners.

More Information

Additional details will be released in later editions of the PA Early Ed News.

*Information provided by the PA Early Ed News